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  • Writer's pictureAmin

Getting into the FLOW

Your brain is involved in everything you do – including how you think, how you feel, how you act, and how you get along with other people. It is your organ of personality, character, intelligence, and every decision you make in your life.

There are three brains in you. The basic brain is the brain stem which is supporting your autonomic system. Then the bottom brain which is known as the “Limbic” brain. It has the capacity and speed in processing information that are linked to the five senses. Finally, the top brain and it is slower in processing and connected to the information that come in from the bottom brain as well as through the intuition channel from the mind.

What we know is this:

  • When your brain works right, you work right, and

  • When your brain is troubled, you are likely to have trouble your life

  • You can change the working of your brain and change your life too

  • One way is get into the state of FLOW

I experienced the state of FLOW when I did my PhD at the Cranfield University, UK. I did not know what it was then or how to explain to others as the feeling did not come from the normal five senses in my body. There is no language based reasoning for the flow. You need to experience it. During the FLOW, I became very creative and I completed my PhD within 2.5 years.

In FLOW, I had risen over the environment, my body, and the passage of time. The environment I am in, my body, and time are the box I am in or my “mental prison”.

The experiences of FLOW fall in two categories and I have experienced both of them:

  • Peak experiences – we attain a STATE OF BEING that we associate with spiritual leaders

  • Ordinary experiences – we attain the STATE OF BEING when playing a musical instrument, writing, doing research, and so on

STATE OF BEING is the product of your thinking and feeling when your mind and your body are in unison. Once you feel the way you think, you begin to think the way you feel. This continuous cycle creates a feedback loop called the “STATE OF BEING”.

A state of being means you have become familiar with a mental emotional state – a way of thinking and a way of feeling. This becomes an integral part of your self-identity. Years of thinking certain thoughts, and then feeling the same way (when thinking equal to those feelings) is similar to the hamster in the wheel which is the MEMORISED state of being.

If we cannot think greater than how we feel, we can never change. To change is to think greater than how we feel. To change is to act greater than the familiar feelings of the memorized self (the body).

To learn about flow, you need to understand how the mind work. The more you know about the mind and how it works, the better you can pilot it. Just like the car, the more you know about a car and how it works, the better you can drive it. In other words, be the master of your mind.

To get into flow, you need triggers. For example, you may get into flow when you decide to create something and is hungry with it. Creating something can come from external pressure or the internal desire within you – just like my desire to do good quality research during my PhD.

With the triggers, you need to stay focused in the present moment or the power of now. It is also known as “mindfulness” in management. This allows your mind to overcome the passage of time – just like when you meditate.

The next thing is to overcome the external environment. All our personal experiences with people and things at specific times and places are reflected within the networks in our brain. In short, our memories make up our picture of the external environment. To overcome the external environment, we focus on the intuition rather than the feeling from the body and have a task on hand to minimize the mind from going to the past.

Finally in doing the task, you need to overcome your body – to overcome the state of memorized emotions or habits by pruning those habits from your body. This allows you to overcome the resistance of going forward in your task.

When you are in flow, you overcome the mental prison within you and this is like “getting free from the box”. It can only happen when you need to create something and is hungry enough to overcome the 3 sides of the box – the environment, the body, and the time.

Why do you need to learn and practice flow? Once you master it, you know where are the switches within you to get into the creative state and develop solutions for the complex problem you may have on hand.

Flow is one of the training modules that we offer in creative thinking and design thinking.

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